Posts Tagged ‘India’

Indian steel needs support, not tariffs, to fulfill output aspirations

India’s steel sector has been generally positive about new Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first 100 days in office, which he marked on September 3. Formerly the Chief Minister of Gujarat state for more than a dozen years, Modi presided over strong economic growth in that region, an achievement Indians are hoping to see extended across the entire country.

India has been crunching the gears economically for several years while its big rival China, unencumbered by the democratic process, has motored ahead. Steel projects have foundered due to difficulties in gaining land access–most notably Korean giant Posco’s planned 6 million mt/year capacity works in the south of India–while decrepit infrastructure makes transporting raw materials inside the country expensive and challenging.

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India’s gas pricing dilemma: A ‘Modi’cum of liberalization?

The new Narendra Modi government in New Delhi prolonged the suspense this week over what tack it will take on the controversial domestic gas pricing issue.

It had been expected to signal which way it is inclined ahead of a September 30 deadline to announce its final decision on gas prices.

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Major US trade decision in the pipeline for OCTG producers

The story is a familiar one: Cheap foreign steel products are threatening domestic manufacturers, and the US steel industry is seeking relief with a trade case.

Here’s how it goes down: Following a petition by one or more US producers, the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission independently and simultaneously investigate any antidumping and countervailing claims. Commerce investigates whether imported products are sold at less-than-fair value or have been subsidized by foreign governments and determines duty rates accordingly. The ITC rules whether those imports materially injure or threaten material injury to the domestic industry. If either body votes in the negative, no duties are levied.

On Friday, Commerce is due to make its final determination in the antidumping and countervailing investigations of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imports from South Korea, India, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

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The Oil Big Five: trends, market drivers and global issues

This is our second installment of The Oil Big Five, where we ask Platts oil experts around the globe to outline five big trends or factors affecting the oil industry. We were glad to hear from you, our readers, on our first post, and we featured your top responses in our follow-up post. Be sure to leave us a comment and tell us what you think about our picks as well as what you see as the biggest influences in your part of the industry.

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Indian oil & gas after the election…the road ahead

There is a lot riding on India’s new government. Tired of a lackluster economy, Indians have single-mindedly elected the BJP — led by Narendra Modi–in the hope that he will do what it takes to rev up the country’s engines.

Energy is obviously going to play a critical role as India’s economy shifts gear. So, what can the Indian oil and gas industry expect in the coming years? The answer: a lot.

The previous government had already started the process of reform in the industry, and the BJP is likely to take that forward full throttle.

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The Oil Big Five: Your top issues

At the beginning of the month, The Barrel debuted The Oil Big Five, our round-up of the top five big trends or factors affecting the oil industry worldwide. The topics were chosen by our oil experts in offices around the globe, and we asked you to weigh in. What do you think are the most influential things for your markets and business?

Today, we wanted to share the comments that you, our readers, sent our way. Remember, it’s not too late to comment on the original post (or on this one), and we’ll have another summary of our Platts picks for the next month in just a few more weeks.

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What is India’s BJP thinking about the country’s energy policy?

India’s oil and gas sector saw some unprecedented decisions taken last year under the Congress Party-led government.

These ranged from a partial deregulation of diesel prices to a new gas pricing mechanism that would have seen the wellhead price of gas double to over $8/MMBtu. However, the hike — which was ratified twice by the Cabinet — was never implemented as scheduled on April 1 due to India’s upcoming elections.

The Congress-led government last year also started revamping and streamlining upstream policy to incentivise exploration and production.

All in all, 2013 was a busy year for journalists as we struggled to keep pace with and understand all that was going on in India’s energy sector.

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Indian oil subsidies have an impact way up the supply line

India’s financial reporting season never fails to remind us of the fragile state of the country’s state-owned oil marketing companies whose profits swing wildly from quarter to quarter. Those moves are not for any fundamental reason, but because they may or may not have been reimbursed by the government for losses incurred from selling diesel, LPG and kerosene at below market prices.

But these companies — Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. — are usually fully compensated by the end of the financial year, which runs from April to March in India.

Until they get compensated, they rely on market borrowings to fund their operating expenses and the longer the non-payment period, the higher their interest costs on these borrowings. But the bottom line is that they get compensated.

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In two Asian countries, the road to higher retail oil and natural gas prices

The plan was to focus this blog entry on the big news out of Indonesia last week: the first fuel price hike in five years. But another more interesting bit of news emerged in the last 24 hours and I feel compelled to at least mention it.

This is the Indian government’s long-awaited decision to double gas prices. The common theme to both price hikes is that sometimes, economics does have the power to overtake politics.

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The pressure on Iranian oil exports: this week’s scorecard

The week is only about 3/5 over, but there already have been numerous developments regarding the West’s continuing pressure on various countries, mostly Asian, to either cap their Iranian purchases at prevailing levels, or reduce them.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s transpired in the past few days, based on reporting from a wide range of Platts’ staff members: Takeo Kumagai, Pradeep Rajan, Mriganka Jaipuriyar, M.C Vaijayanthi and Charles Lee.

If there’s one conclusion that can be drawn from these various reports, it would be this: earlier conventional wisdom that Iran would simply transfer the oil from cancelled EU sales into its Asian customers is looking woefully wrong.  (A summary report of where events stood last week can be read here.)

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